As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I found a pretty bangin’ Expedia deal for me and my friends to stay at an all-inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico for about $800 smackaroos each. We went, we had fun, and we conquered. Unfortunately, part of the cheap package included pretty crappy flights for our trip. In fact, we actually had two separate layovers on our way home. Our first plane also left at 1:55 a.m. which meant that I spent a good part of Sunday morning sleeping on an airport floor in Mexico City. Yuck.
So, I didn’t really sleep much these last few days and we’re both pretty exhausted. And in addition to having a little big of jet lag, I’ve got another condition a’brewin as well. What is it, you ask? Spending remorse. I’m sad to say that we went over our vacation budget by about $300. I’ve been analyzing the situation for a while now to see exactly where we got off track. After all, we did budget $400 in spending money for transportation, gifts, and tips. We also stayed in an all-inclusive hotel which means that there really is no reason to have wasted so much money. Still, in order to learn from my mistakes, I must acknowledge them first. Am I right?
My Vacation Budget Meltdown
On our second day, the four of us (my best friend, her husband, Greg, and I) decided to venture out of the resort into the town of Playa del Carmen. We had only had a few drinks by that point and we really wanted to eat some authentic food and do some souvenir shopping. That was, of course, until we saw just how cool Playa del Carmen is. It reminded me a lot of Bourbon St. in New Orleans, except for the fact that it was much, much cleaner. In addition to shops, the town’s main tourist district is filled with fancy restaurants, bars, and all kinds of cool people and things. After walking around for a while, we decided to eat dinner at Imprevist, a restaurant which has gotten excellent reviews on trip advisor. In addition to having an excellent meal, they also had BOGO drinks going on. That’s where this all went down hill.
Alcohol Fueled Reckless Spending
All of a sudden, two mojitos turned into five. After some wandering, we ended up at some bar called “El Santo Remedio” on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen. Even though we could drink for “free” at the resort, we had completely lost track of that fact and were spending cash like it was going out of style. But by that point it didn’t matter anymore. We started taking shots and I bought several bracelets and things from basically any street vendor that approached me. After more drinks, we petted someone’s monkey and I had a wrestling match with my best friend. Oh, and I’m pretty sure I cried and told Greg that I thought it was my destiny to adopt a Mexican baby (we saw so many adorable babies!!!)
Anyways, let’s face it. We were drunk. And worse than that, we blew $200 in one night! I simply cannot remember the last time that we wasted so much money in one fell swoop. It sucks, and I’m mad at myself.
After that, we reigned in our spending quite a bit. However, we still managed to go over budget another $100. So, what money lessons did we learn from all of this? I learned that alcohol and responsible financial decisions don’t mix that well for us. And next time, we’re going to plan ahead a little better and make sure that we don’t waste so much money unnecessarily. Of course, $200 isn’t that much money and I know that some people waste money like that every weekend. Still, I know better and I don’t want to make that mistake again.
Have you ever made a bad financial decision or wasted money and regretted it? If so, what money lessons did you learn?